Grants from $400,000 to $1,500,000 are now available to help revitalize and economically diversify Appalachian coal communities

On January 14, 2021, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) released a Request for Proposals for applications for the 2021 POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative.

POWER seeks to revitalize and diversify economies in communities and regions affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations, and coal-related supply chain industries due to the changing economics of America’s energy production.

ARC is making funds available through the POWER Initiative for regional investments to develop a competitive workforce, foster entrepreneurial activities, develop industry clusters, strengthen substance abuse response, and expand broadband in coal-impacted areas.

The POWER Initiative is a critical tool for communities with economies impacted by the changes in the coal market,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “I encourage eligible organizations and community leaders across the Appalachian Region to engage in ARC’s application workshops and apply for a POWER grant if they have a plan that can contribute to regional, transformative economic recovery and growth.

Since 2015, ARC has invested over $238 million in 293 projects touching 353 counties across Appalachia through the POWER Initiative. Together, these investments are projected to create or retain more than 26,000 jobs, leverage more than $1.1 billion in additional private investment into Appalachia’s economy, and prepare tens of thousands of workers and students for opportunities in entrepreneurship, broadband development, tourism, and other industry sectors. POWER investments also support workforce-to-recovery and other comprehensive strategies to strengthen the Region’s Recovery Ecosystem.

The Appalachian Regional Commission is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.

Required Letters of Intent (due Friday, March 5, 2021 by 5:00 pm EST) should be submitted via this fillable PDF form to, and full applications (due Friday, April 16, 2021 by 5:00 pm EST) should be submitted online.

Photo of old toxic coal mining site via Adobe Stock.

See full RFP (PDF).

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